Game of Thrones (2011-2019) | TV Series Review

Title: Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
Created by: David Benioff, D. B. Weiss
Based on: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
StarringEmilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ian Glen, John Bradley, Alfie Allen, Conleth Hill, Liam Cunningham, Gwendoline Christie, Aidan Gillen, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Rory McCann, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jerome Flynn, Daniel Portman, Jacob Anderson, Kristofer Hivju, Ben Crompton, Carice van Houten, Charles Dance, Hannah Murray, Julian Glover, Natalie Dormer, Jack Gleeson, Michelle Fairley, Ian McElhinney, Joe Dempsie, Kristian Nairn, Anton Lesser, Richard Madden, Iwan Rheon, Diana Rigg, Rose Leslie, Donald Sumpter, Bella Ramsey, Joseph Mawle, Harry Lloyd, Vladimir ‘Furdo’ Furdik, Jonathan Pryce, Jason Momoa, Mark Addy, and Sean Bean
Country of Origin: United States, United Kingdom
Original Language(s): English
No. of Series: 8
No. of Episodes: 73
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Running Time: 50-82 minutes
Original Network: HBO

Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.

After ten bloody years, finally, the series of Game of Thrones has come to its end. It’s a bittersweet moment. One time I want the series to end, but the other time I don’t want it to end. Despite all the ruckus about how the story ends, Game of Thrones is still one of the best TV series ever. Before I begin, let me warn you that this is going to be a very long post—perhaps the longest of all my reviews. And it will contain some spoilers here and there. I know I have said before that I will not spoil anything in my reviews. But let’s face it, we all have seen the spoilers in every social media there is. Therefore, I do apologise if you find some bits and pieces of spoilers in the post.

The first five seasons of Game of Thrones, I did not watch them straight away when they came out. By the time all people are talking about Game of Thrones, I knew nothing. Even when they all said, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”, I don’t even know what that meant. Yes, I’m late, I know. However, I have heard so much about Game of Thrones, about the “too much” scenes—meant nudity and all. I don’t quite fond to watch it. However, years gone by, I got more curious about the show. What’s so special about it? Why it was so popular and famous? I started to watch the first season, and second, and third. At that point, I like the whole story even though it is too complicated because so much is happening. However, I have not loved it just yet. I was still confused about the whole Targaryen, Stark, Lannister , and the Army of the Dead thing. At that point also, I knew I cannot like a certain character because eventually, they will die. We thought this character is huge and powerful, but then he died. We thought this character is weak, but then she survived against all odds. Major characters, minor characters, they all died. I wonder who I should root for. Luckily, I did root for Daenerys Targaryen from the beginning and I was happy she survived until the last season.

Jon Snow: Because I need your help and you need mine.
Daenerys Targaryen: Did you see three dragons flying overhead when you arrived?
Jon Snow: I did.
Daenerys Targaryen: And did you see the Dothraki, all of whom have sworn to kill for me?
Jon Snow: They’re hard to miss.
Daenerys Targaryen: But still, I need your help.

Basically, you cannot predict Game of Thrones. When you think you know it, the storyteller crushed all of your hopes and made a different path of story. It is very unpredictable. Hence, that is why I got curious and curiouser. I became to love it when I rewatch the first three seasons. Only then I understand what was happening and can appreciate the story. However, I always appreciate and praise the CGI effect and the setting. Everything looks great and absolutely perfect. You know they don’t restrain budget for production. I finished all five seasons just in time for the sixth season. Thus, I don’t feel a long tension like other fans because of what’s happening in the last episode of the fifth season. And then I knew what other fans are feeling when I finished watching season six and seven.

The waiting is very torturing. It’s just impossible to wait for a year, for another season. During season seven to season eight, fans have to wait for two bloody years. We were expecting something great and major because they need that long time for a shorter amount of episodes. After I watched episode 3 in season 8, I knew that the wait is worth it. The battle was great. Everything happened unexpectedly. Some minor flaws that fans were willing to overlook. Everything was fine and great. We all expecting something bigger for the next few episodes. However, not to spill anything, but afterwards, what happened next was actually made the fans got more furious than ever. Yes, that’s disappointing. Especially the ending.

Unlike other TV series, Game of Thrones got better and better after more series because the story got more tense and intense. I have never thought that there would be a TV series I love more than Merlin (2008-2012). It’s not I am pessimistic but Merlin has the whole package of what I could ask for in a story. A good laugh, a good story, a good fantasy, and a good myth. Of course, it is all ruined by the ending. Still, I love the whole story. And then I watched Game of Thrones, which changed my mind about the world of TV series. It is so huge and even better than some films. I love Merlin but even Merlin‘s stories are not a continuation and not as complicated as Game of Thrones. The tension in Merlin‘s story wasn’t as high as Game of Thrones either. The CGI is not perfect, even though I love the overall story. However, in Game of Thrones, the CGI effect is perfect. It is so flawless unlike Merlin. I know I wasn’t supposed to compare between the two but that’s how it is. Game of Thrones has a storyline that got better and better through the series. I am not saying that Merlin‘s story didn’t get better and better, because the storyline is not really a continuation unlike Game of Thrones. Therefore it is kind of different. It would be unwise to compare the story but the CGI is another story and we all how huge the CGI effect if Game of Thrones is. The story also became more intense as the series went by. Unfortunately, it is all ruined by the ending. The ending disappoints too many fans, including myself. Game of Thrones‘ ending is more disappointing than Merlin‘s.

Jon Snow: Everyone you know will die before winter’s over if we don’t defeat the enemy to the north.
Daenerys Targaryen: As far as I can see, you are the enemy to the north.
Jon Snow: I am not your enemy. The dead are the enemy.
Daenerys Targaryen: The dead? Is that another figure of speech?
Jon Snow: The Army of the Dead is on the march.

Sure, I understand what happened to the character. Why the character did what he/she did—I’m assuming you all know who is this character, but let’s assume some haven’t watched it. I knew the reasons and I have seen the symptoms previously. It did make sense in a certain way, just not all. To shorten something called character development in just three episodes is indeed a disgrace to the character. They have done injustice to our beloved characters. George R. R. Martin is a genius, let’s face it. He can make a very epic story. However, he too gave time for the characters to develop, to evolve, in his books. Not that I have read them—though I will, I have started buying the books—but the other fans have read the books and they have compared them. The first five seasons, where David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (I’ll call them as D & D afterwards) can base the story from the book, everything happened great. Some flaws, of course, but that’s normal in film or television production. And then the next book is not yet finished by the original writer of the book, George R. R. Martin, thus the filmmakers have to make their own imagination. Season six is still alright, but season seven, fans started to have issues. Not big, though, because there are many satisfying moments even though many questions unanswered also were there too. Season eight, well, let’s just say it’s kind of disaster. Fans were angry. Despite what some people said about D & D and the crews have worked hard and so on, we all know the ending is sucks.  I appreciate them, truly. Even D & D. They made a great series. A great phenomenon that changes the world of TV series forever. However, like all films and TV series, fans expect a great ending. I do understand if there are three parties like the usual story. Some like, some don’t, some in-between. However, what I saw was a union opinion. All fans seem to hate the ending. So whose fault is that? I am sure it is not the fans because we just enjoy something that was shown to us. I am sure for Game of Thrones, the actors and actresses are not the cause of disappointment, because believe me when I say, even from the beginning, they have given exceptional and outstanding performances. If not, why so many of them got nominated and won many awards?

I understand if fans demand a remake, but as Kit Harrington said, it is disrespectful to the crew, the writers, the filmmakers. Disrespectful, yes, if I can say. But unreasonable? I don’t think so. I do understand both sides. On one hand, the actors involved in the production hate to see their years of hard work judged with arguably cruel and dismissive remarks. However, on the other hand, the show was so good for so long that fans naturally feel a strong connection to, and investment in, the characters and the storylines. Thus the fans also hate to see what happened with their favourite characters and the overall storyline. Both sides are understandable. If I have to choose one side, well, I cannot. But I can say this. I am furious about the ending, even though I understand what’s happening. I really really really appreciate the actors, the editors, all that involved in putting the story into one great series except the one who made the idea of the ending. Who? I won’t say D & D. We don’t know what happened between them. Perhaps it’s not purely their ideas. Some gave them input. That is why I won’t say I hate D & D. I hate the one or two or maybe three and four people who made the idea for the ending.

I do wonder, though. Have they consulted George R. R. Martin? It’s his story after all. However, I do realise that not all TV series can have the same story as the book. Take The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017) and Gossip Girl (2007-2012) for example. The ending of both TV series was very much different from the books. However, both are different from the books because that’s what the fans want and happy about it and what made sense anyway. Well, maybe it’s not all about the fans, but in fairness, we are the one who paid for it, right? We deserve to get what we wanted. What we wanted is a good story. It is subjective, I know, but if the writers knew what they were doing, any kind of storyline is just fine. As long as it made sense. Maybe not every fan will love it because each person has their own preferences, but at least not everyone will hate it, right? Different is fine if it was satisfying and good. However, Game of Thrones, let’s face it, sucks at the ending and everyone seems to hate it. That must be not a coincidence.

Rumour has it, that George R. R. Martin also doesn’t like what happened with the ending of Game of Thrones. He said that wasn’t the ending that he would have written. I wonder if everyone with ‘R. R,’ in middle name turns out to be a genius because J. R. R. Tolkien is also a genius when he wrote The Lord of the Rings. I am super excited about the TV series. I hope it’s as epic or even more epic than the films, and definitely not disappointing. Anyway, that is all about my opinion as one of Game of Thrones fan. I am disappointed with the ending. I will not lie about it. I love the series but the ending was just not right at all. Even I hate the choice of who finally became King/Queen of the Iron Throne. I am a fan of the character, but he/she doesn’t fit to be the King/Queen. It’s just not right and a disgrace to those characters who were worth the throne.

“When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything.” Jon Snow

Now, enough about those negative comments, let’s talk about something positive. Let’s bring back the positive vibes. After all, Game of Thrones is one of my favourite TV series. I have watched Game of Thrones at least two times. The first time I watched it, I never really like Jon Snow. My favourite character is always Daenerys Targaryen. I never really understand what is the big deal of Jon Snow. Why everyone seemed to like and root for him. However, the second time I watched the show, I knew why Jon Snow is a big deal, hence, he became one of my favourite characters. I know I should have liked Sansa Stark or Arya Stark, but unfortunately, I don’t. Arya, maybe. But I don’t really like Sansa, no matter how cool she became. I just don’t. I like Stark family, really. The family sigil is very cool because it is a direwolf. It got cooler when all the Stark children got one, including Jon Snow. The direwolf grew from cute to cool. If direwolf existed and if I could pet an animal, I would choose to have direwolf. Or maybe the dragons. The dragons are great and I really envy Daenerys. Until this date, I still cannot decide whether I would prefer Direwolf or Dragon because both have their own advantages. Both can protect you, of course. Surely Dragons are more powerful but Direwolf can at least fit in your house. Anyway, before I talked off the track, let’s move on.

I really think Emilia Clarke has played the character of Daenerys Targaryen beautifully and perfectly. I could never ever imagine anyone else played the part of Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne, rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains. Yes, what long name. I wonder how Missandei was able to remember that super long name. Anyway, Emilia Clarke is really the perfect Daenerys Targaryen. Her transformation is massive. I am not talking about the transformation from Emilia to Daenerys only, but also the transformation of Daenerys series by series. From innocent to someone who has huge power in her hand. She even managed to maintain her facial expression in great length. I have mentioned in my review of Me Before You (2016), Emilia Clarke’s eyebrows are another level. The eyebrows are so animated that they really represented Emilia Clarke’s facial expression on point. I would have never guessed it before because she was that good in portraying her character. I should say Emilia Clarke deserves an award for her role, especially during her last few episodes.

“When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything.” – Jon Snow

Kit Harrington also portrayed his character, Jon Snow, greatly. Nothing changes much for Jon Snow, accept his background story and his position. However, I still think Kit Harrington managed to play character really well. Everyone seems to love him. Like I said before, I don’t really like Jon Snow before because his character seemed very gloomy and sad. Not the kind of character that I would cheer for. However, as times went by, I grew to like his character, his good character. Perhaps he is the only character in Game of Thrones that stay true to himself until the end.

I like the character Tyrion Lannister too, though not at first. He is kind of wise. His words are often wise and strategic. I think of all characters, he is the wisest despite his physicality. Peter Dinklage who played the character became very famous and won so many awards for his character. I think he really deserves it. Anyway, I should also add that I like the combination of the character Tyrion and Varys. They really can be a funny duo. With his stoic facial expressions, Varys can also show a funny one. Together, they could make sarcasm became so funny and clever.

Jon Snow: How do I convince people who don’t know me that an enemy they don’t believe is coming to kill them all?
Tyrion Lannister: Good question.
Jon Snow: I know it’s a good question. I’m looking for an answer.

I like Bran Stark. He has grown from cute to handsome. Isaac Hempstead Wright has grown so much during the series, alongside Sophie Turner who played Sansa Stark, and Maisie Williams who played Arya Stark. Like seriously. I also like Robb Stark. Though, I should praise Maisie Williams. She was just a little girl when she played the part of Arya, yet she already has to work out very much because Arya likes to play swords and such. Therefore she needs to train as well. She is actually a right-hand, but for the part, she trained her left hand to use swords. Isn’t that fantastic?

Syrio Forel: What do we say to the God of Death?
Arya Stark: Not today

To tell you the truth, it’s not a good and wise thing to have favours in Game of Thrones because you won’t know when the character would die. One moment you like the character, and the next thing he died. One moment you think the character should die, he/she survived four seasons and more. Who would ever guess that I will like Jaime Lannister, the character played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau? His character is so hateful in the beginning but grew more likeable throughout the series as we learnt his true nature. That is why I said we cannot really root for one particular character in Game of Thrones. I knew that we cannot expect how long this or that character will live through, some eventually will die. But every time someone is dead, I will feel bad or sad, except of course the bad guys. But some or sad that I cried once. There is this one character who is not very distinctive. He is not particularly played too much part. But the way he died is just sad. He died heroicly but still, it was sad and I did cry.

Game of Thrones is not about sticking to the characters that the audiences like. It’s about the story. And they really stick to it. I haven’t read the book so I don’t really know if it’s the same or so many scenes were altered and change. But I guess they were still in course since the writer of the book supervised the series too, or at least until series 5, or maybe 6? Further than that, it ends up with chaos. Seriously, I am not lying. Don’t root for couples too, because you will mostly be disappointed. Still, I fancy some couples and I am glad how they have ended up.

I cannot name one by one, but I have to praise each and every cast. From the beginning until the end. They all have portrayed the character really well and really convincing. Most of the actors and actresses have used different accents than their original accents, which are great. They even learnt to talk in a different kind of language. The language that was created by George R. R. Martin. It’s not something unusual because J. R. R. Tolkien has done it in his books (Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings). Still, the actors and actresses really have done a great job in learning the languages.

I used to think that Da Vinci’s Demons (2013-2015) is vulgar until I watched Game of Thrones. I am not only talking about languages, but also nudity. So many nude and love scenes. I can’t stand it at first, but then got used to it as episodes went by. Still, I don’t enjoy it. I also think that women are more nude than men. Not that I wish the men should do more nude, but it’s just not fair for women. Even the actresses and some actors thought that in the film industry, women always more exposed than men. That is why it seems unfair. I like how Tom Hiddleston said that he was willing to open more clothes in Crimson Peak (2015) because he also thinks that women always look more naked than men in films, that’s why he would like to balance it out. Anyway, I am getting way off track now, so let’s get back to Game of Thrones. By series 5, the nudity got lessened and so does the love scenes. I should say hurrah because by doing so, they would more focus on the conflict. Not that the nudity is forgotten until the final series, it’s just being dial down.

I am also very amused by the production team and the editors because they really thought every single thing. They really put attention to every detail. For example, the opening credit. If you paid more attention, you could see the map of Westeros and Essos and all the houses. They made it in details with the map. Where do the characters reside now or what happened with the houses, everything was set in detail. Even the cast name also being thought carefully. Each character has played different characters from different houses with different sigils, thus their name was put aside with their character’s sigil, which is clever. Those are a few things that the production team and editors have done beautifully. Not to mention the choice of setting, the CGI effect, the costume, the music, everything. They really have given everything for the production.

All in all, I like Game of Thrones, maybe even love it. The story is great and like nothing else I have ever seen before in TV series. It is complicated and tense and unpredictable. It was good—or at least until the time where they disappointed all of us. Nevertheless, all of the actors and characters are awesome. Game of Thrones is surely worth to watch. No wonder people cannot stop talking about it. It was that good. Although I should say that this is not the kind of TV series for every age because of the vulgarity, nudity, and sadistic murder scenes and all. The war was cruel but putting aside the cruelty, the story was tense thus people always find it exciting. So did I. Not that I support cruelty, but the story of Game of Thrones is basically about the war, hence we would like to see a good war. Anyway, like I said it before, I love the series until I’m not. Overall, it is still a good TV series and worth to watch. Just don’t expect too much with the ending.

I was ready to give it 10 stars, believe me. But the last two or three episodes disappoint me too much. I think they disappoint many of the fans—I am guessing all of the fans? Anyway, because of its awful ending, I give Game of Thrones 8 out of 10 stars. However, 10 stars for Emilia Clarke’s performance. She’s very good as Daenerys Targaryen.

😘  Toodle-oo,

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